Since research, speaking and listening skills are such a huge part of what I do in this class, I thought to myself, what better way to target all of these through having my students plan, practice, and give an Ignite talk? 20 slides, 15 seconds each for each of them to tell their story. I struggled with how to pitch it to my students and kept thinking - how will I get buy-in? how can I model this for them and help them see the value in it? I got the aha moment I was seeking last week.
I decided to start off by giving my students the same Ignite talk I gave at ISTE this summer and shared all the challenges and fears that I faced. At the same time, I handed them the same rubric that I was going to use to evaluate their Ignite talks and let them evaluate me first. They were thrilled at the prospect of 'grading their teacher' and I am relieved to say that every class applauded for me after my talk. Maybe it was because they got to see a little bit more about me and the heart I have as a teacher through the talk.
I then shared this document with them - an Ignite planning document to help them organize their thoughts. The topics they came up with were amazing and creative. They ranged from 'the best sports plays ever,' to 'the life of a perfectionist.' One was on 'the science of happiness' and another was on 'the history of Apple.' Everything from baseball to coding and robotics. Here's one a student gave on the science of superpowers.
As a reflection to the whole Ignite experience, I had each student create a page to add to their digital portfolios where they uploaded their presentation and script. They then had to write 5 tips that they would give someone who was giving their first ignite talk.
Here's what one student had to say: